Less Screen Time and More Active Play for Children
Parents and caregivers should set limits on how much time their children spend on the computer, watching TV, and playing video games to reduce "screen time." Spending less time in front of the screen and more time being physically active is a better option. Many parents force their children to eat by using their Phones. The youngsters are quietly watching the screen throughout this time. It's also typical to see parents and children together in a restaurant or other public area, but there's no interaction because both are engrossed in their devices. This is just a small sample of Smartphones addiction. Parents are in charge of raising their children. We can't expect Smartphones to do it, can we?
EXCESSIVE SCREEN TIME
Many parents are concerned about their children's excessive screen time. But who is to blame for the development of this habit? If parents allow their children to use Smartphones, they must also set a time restriction for them to use them. In 2019, a team of experts from the World Health Organization produced advice on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep for children under the age of five, emphasizing the importance of youngsters spending less time sitting and watching screens or being restricted in prams and seats. If they are to grow up healthy, they should also get more quality sleep and have more time for active play. A child's development must spend quality sedentary time with a caregiver doing interactive non-screen-based activities (e.g., reading, storytelling, singing, and solving puzzles). Failure to follow current physical activity guidelines results in more than 5 million fatalities worldwide each year, affecting people of all ages. Currently, nearly 23% of adults and 80% of teenagers are not getting enough physical activity. Early development of healthy habits contributes to the development of good habits throughout infancy, adolescence, and maturity. Most parents are unaware of the negative effects of excessive screen time and a sedentary lifestyle on their children's development, which is alarming. They must recognize the gravity of the situation and take steps to mitigate the damage before it is too late. It is also important to be aware that passive screen time is hazardous. When parents or adult caregivers interact with children while they watch television, they provide stimulation and aid in learning.
LACK OF STIMULATION
For quite some time, efforts have been made in various Western countries to limit children's screen usage. Adults are increasingly realizing the importance of not being glued to their phones and preferring one-on-one time without technology. Many children do not have adequate communication skills when they attend school. This is due to the lack of stimulation kids receive from their parents at home, as they are preoccupied with their cell phones and do not spend enough time conversing, reading stories, or playing with them. Screen time by parents might limit face-to-face interaction which is essential for children's emotional and social development.
Parents teach their children how to use Smartphones. Mealtimes, bedtimes, and specified downtimes for family members to unplug; completing things together should be prioritized by parents. They must fight the impulse to record everything. While mobile devices have made certain things easier, they have also increased the demands placed on parents: more emails, more feed to check, more games to play, and so on. Parents engrossed in their Smartphones talk less to their children, reply slower and less attentively and overreact in response to disruptions. In the long run, this could result in increased parenting stress and a deteriorated parent-child bond.
CHILDREN COPY PARENTS
Children see what their parents do, not what they say; parents must limit their screen time. They should spend quality time with their children, giving them undivided attention. Parents must engage their children in a variety of outside activities. Parents should assist their children in increasing their capacity so that they can learn to use technology to their advantage. This should happen before kids become addicted to it, as unlearning something once it has become a habit is quite tough. Rather than losing track of time, parents must keep track of how much time has passed while perusing email or social media. Smartphones may be a good factor when parents utilize them for shared enjoyment with their children or to get things done faster, so they can spend more time with their family. Technology, when utilized wisely and properly, has the potential to improve the quality of parental connections with their children.
While parents must be mindful in building good screen time habits for themselves and their children, it is the state's job to guarantee that children have access to adequate playgrounds and the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities. Any country's top priority should be the healthy development of its children, and sufficient resources must be allocated to this end. Unfortunately, most of our playgrounds have been gone, and the number of sports and cultural events offered in the neighborhood has decreased. This has to be changed. Children and young people should be engaged by cultural organizations as well.
We should all be concerned about children's excessive and passive screen usage. Are we concerned enough about this and doing enough to fix it so that children grow up to fulfill their full potential?
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- Rockims Team